My household has gone Pokémon crazy – all of us except Z, who maintains a philosophical detachment. We have the old cards out, and Jake and I are playing matches for the first time in five years. We’ve also bought the first third of the first season on DVD and are more or less entranced – this against my better judgment, since the show, though charmingly silly, seems to me consumerist, being ostensibly about the acquisition of virtue and actually about the acquisition of small, fuzzy things, things which used wisely bring the possessor power.
Once upon a time I had a theory about how a generation raised on Pokémon would demolish a generation raised on Teletubbies — culturally, intellectually, and if it came to it, militarily. While four year olds hooked on the Tubbies are chanting Lala, Lala with sweet little lisps, the Poké kids are memorizing 150 animals, their names, heights, weights, powers, attacks, hit points, weaknesses, resistances, and evolutionary stages. I still think Poké is better brain exercise than most TV fare, but I’m now mostly wondering at the remarkable mental space revealed in the childish Poké-mastery, space that could be used to learn something like Latin. Anyhow, I love to play the game.